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My Beef With Holden Caulfield

Fr. Damian J. Ference takes on Catcher in the Rye at Dappled Things.

Because I went to Catholic high school, and because I really didn’t begin to read for pleasure until my sophomore year of college, I was late in coming to meet J.D. Salinger’s character, Holden Caulfield. My public school friends met Holden in their junior year of high school, and some of them still swear that The Catcher in the Rye is the best book they’ve ever read. I even recall reading an interview a few years ago of Slash, the former guitarist from Guns N’ Roses (and high school drop-out), who insisted that reading Catcher changed his life, as he found in Holden the only character that ever seemed to relate to his own awkward experience of adolescence.
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